Matheny says “everything good” with Carlos Beltran’s knee


Cardinals right fielder Carlos Beltran left Game 3 of the NLCS against the Giants with a strained left knee and did not appear in Game 4 on Thursday evening.

But he returned to action — even stealing a base — in Game 5 and should be a go again for Game 6.

Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said in a chat with the media Saturday that “everything is good” with Beltran’s knee following Friday night’s loss to the Giants and a subsequent flight to San Francisco.

Beltran, a .371/.479/.810 career hitter in the playoffs, is batting .382/.463/.794 with three home runs, five doubles, six RBI and two stolen bases in 10 games this postseason. He’s trying to lead St. Louis to its second straight World Series. The best-of-seven NLCS is currently led 3-2 by the Cardinals.

Chris Sale will start on Opening Day for Red Sox

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No surprise here: Chris Sale will start on Opening Day for the Red Sox, Pete Abraham of The Boston Globe reports. The Red Sox open the season on March 29 in Tampa Bay against the Rays. Sale will oppose Chris Archer.

Sale, 28, is the fifth different Opening Day starter the Red Sox have had in as many years, preceded by Rick Porcello, David Price, Clay Buchholz, and Jon Lester. Sale started on Opening Day for the White Sox in 2013, ’14, and ’16.

Sale finished second in AL Cy Young Award balloting last year and finished ninth for AL MVP. He went 17-8 with a 2.90 ERA and a 308/43 K/BB ratio in 214 1/3 innings. Sale and Clayton Kershaw (2015) are the only pitchers to strike out 300 or more batters in a season dating back to 2003.